Merchant Warehouse Open Sources Netty

Dominic Lachowicz |

April 17, 2014

Netty

The Merchant Warehouse team is excited to announce that we’re open sourcing Netty – a small, fast, embeddable web server and ASP.NET application server.

Netty was inspired by Jetty – an embedded Java web server and Servlet container. Like Jetty, Netty is designed to run in-process, which is extremely useful when you want to quickly start serving static or dynamic content, but don’t want or need the overhead of using IIS. Anything that you can host in IIS, you should be able to host in Netty including:

  • ASP.NET web pages
  • SOAP web services written using WCF or ASMX
  • RESTful web services written using WebAPI
  • Static content, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and images
  • And more! 

Why would you want to use Netty?

  • Netty is a great software testing companion. Spin up a web server in your test framework’s SetupFixture and test all of your web pages and web services right in-process. No messy deployment steps, no extra scripts, no leftover files, just code. And as a neat side-effect, it’s easy to measure the effect of your functional tests and regression tests on your code coverage. See our BDD Test Example for how this could work.
  • Netty is great when you aren’t writing a traditional browser-based web application. With Netty, it’s possible to ship your whole website or client-server app, without requiring your customers to set up and configure IIS. Our Console Application Example demonstrates how this can work.
  • As a quick, ad-hoc webserver. You can use the standalone Netty console application to quickly start serving up any local directory from your hard drive.

At Merchant Warehouse, we’re using Netty as part of our Behavior Driven Testing Framework as well as the backbone of our Store and Forward product, which allows merchants to accept credit and debit card transactions even while they’re offline. Netty is known to work great on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Since Merchant Warehouse's inception, we have stood on the shoulders of giants in the open source world. Many of the libraries, tools and platforms we depend on are open. We are proud and excited that we're freely giving back to the communities that collectively have given us so much. It seems only natural that we give you all a chance to contribute back and make the open source ecosystem a better place for everyone.

Netty can be found in our netty repository on GitHub. Download our code. Fork our repository. Issue a pull request or file an issue. Have fun, and pay it forward.